A West Central Missouri Air Force base has celebrated two anniversaries this week: 100 years of powered flight and 10 years of serving as the home to what many consider the world’s greatest bomber – the B-2 Stealth. On a blustery day 10 years ago, the first B-2 bomber, the “Sprirt of Missouri”, arrived at Whiteman Air Force Base. A decade later, the same plane re-created what some consider a magical day. West Central Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, the man many credited with bringing the entire 21-bomber fleet to Missouri, says watching the B-2 fly in to Whiteman is special to him. Lieutenant Colonel Rich Vandenberg is a B-2 pilot and flew the actual plane into Whiteman for the 10th anniversary of the bat-winged bomber’s arrival at the base. He says it’s not the first flying wing the Air Force has experimented with. Several models came out in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But he believes this is the best one. Other B-2 pilots indicate a certain pleasure with the news Saddam Hussein has been captured alive and no disappointment that they didn’t take him out during the shock and awe portion of the campaign in Iraq.
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